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Facts & Trends Real Estate

Ruhl&Ruhl Realtors

Winter 2015

2015 Will Be a Good Year for Home Sales

Marc Simpson Realtor

(319) 331-7930

IN THIS ISSUE: page­ 2

Summary of Regional Real Estate Activity

page­ 4

Ruhl&Ruhl Realtors Celebrates Strong Results in 2014

page­ 4

House Prices Continue Appreciating

page­ 6

Ruhl&Ruhl Announced as Iowa Top Workplace

page­ 7

New Construction Inventory Picking Up

In our winter report last year, we forecasted flat unit sales for our region in 2014. Unfortunately, we were right. In fact, if we combine our 14 regional markets, the number of units sold was down 1%, average sales prices were up 1%, and sales volume was flat. As always, there was considerable variation from market to market, as shown on our Regional Real Estate Activity Chart on page 2. Total Avg. Sales Sales Volume Price Burlington Area -5% -5% Cedar Rapids Area -5% -2% Clinton/Camanche/Fulton +16% +4% Dubuque Area +9% +7% Illinois Quad Cities +2% +2% Iowa Quad Cities -1% +4% Iowa City Area 0% +1% Muscatine/Wilton Area -6% -4%

Forecast for 2015

1. First-Time Homebuyers Will Return to the Market: Due to interest rates being almost a full percentage point lower than the beginning of 2014 and to the .50 basis point drop in FHA mortgage insurance premiums effective January 26, first-time buyers will be able to afford to buy again. FHA mortgages require as little as 3.5% down. 2. Move-Up Buyers Can Afford to Sell and Move Up: With home prices improving, many homeowners of the boomer generation are seeing a rebuilding of the equity they had, and now find themselves no longer stuck in an underwater situation. They can now sell their homes and move the equity to a new home. 3. Average Prices will be Up in Most Markets: Both Fannie Mae and the National Association of REALTORS® are predicting an increase in units and prices

in 2015. Home prices in our region are appreciating according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency and as shown on page 4. % Change in Prices Metropolitan Statistical Areas 1 Year 5 Year +2.09% +2.58% Cedar Rapids, IA Davenport-Moline+2.45% +6.61% Rock Island, IA-IL +1.72% +9.29% Dubuque, IA +1.31% +5.70% Iowa City, IA 4. Home Sales Will Trend Up: Households are adding jobs, and although the percentage of working-age Americans with full-time jobs is still at historic lows, jobs are up as are household incomes. Consumers can apply their savings from the decline in oil prices to down payments and this extra money is building buyer confidence. Ruhl&Ruhl’s pending sales are up 15% for the first 4 weeks of 2015, which bodes well for the new year. 5. Record Low Interest Rates Will Spur Refinancing and Sales: If you think you missed the window of opportunity to refinance, you have a second chance. At the time of this writing, interest rates with zero points were hovering in the range of: Conventional Fixed 15-year 3.000% Conventional Fixed 30-year 3.625% FHA 30-year 3.250% VA 30-year 3.250% 6. Re-Urbanization Gaining Steam: Consumer desire to live in an urban setting is driving a revitalization of our downtowns. Some wonderful renovation and restoration of warehouse and office space is resulting in great options for renters and homebuyers in all of our markets. We expect to begin to see more residential new construction in our downtowns as well.

Marc Simpson Winter 2015  
Marc Simpson Winter 2015